Any divorce or separation will impact not only on the couple and children involved but also on other members of the extended family particularly the grandparents.
Sadly during a difficult separation grandparents often find themselves excluded from the lives of their grandchildren. Most grandparents won’t want to become caught up in the acrimony and feel unable to help or do anything. More often than not they will wait until one of the parents organises meetings with the grandchildren and feel powerless to intervene.
In the worst cases they may never see their grandchildren. Sadly in Britain approximately one million grandparents do not see their grandchildren because of family breakdown, feud or bereavement.
If a grandparent wants to apply to the court to see their grandchildren then they must first apply for the courts permission to make the application, for the leave of the court. Grandparents may also be reluctant to start court proceedings when the parents are also arguing over children or financial issues.
Family Mediation offers an alternative route to resolve these disputes by allowing family members to discuss various options with a trained mediator thus avoiding lengthy court battles and the stress that this entails. It usually takes a series of meetings with the mediator. Throughout the process they work with the mediator, to help reach an agreement that they feel comfortable with. Mediation gives everyone a degree of control over the speed and cost and is invariably quicker and less expensive.
As mediation involves direct meetings and discussions the costs remain low as compared to instructing a solicitor and the process can sometimes reach a resolution after a few weeks.
Tara Deegan is a Family Solicitor Mediator at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Milton Keynes.
Tara is available to discuss any initial enquiry over the telephone at no charge and then charges £89 +VAT each or £130 +VAT per couple for the first Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Thereafter mediation sessions cost £150 +VAT per person a rate that is lower than most family lawyers.
Outside of the Milton Keynes area please call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.
Slater and Gordon are a leading family law firm with 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.